Cassidy smashes lap record in Formula E rookie test

Reigning Super Formula champion Nick Cassidy topped the Formula E rookie test day in Marrakesh for Envision Virgin Racing, setting the new fastest-ever FE lap at the venue.

Cassidy smashes lap record in Formula E rookie test

Cassidy eclipsed the previous record, which current Dragon FE driver Nico Muller had set in the 2018 rookie test for Audi, by setting a 1m16.910s with 20 minutes left on the clock.

The Kiwi's lap, a first-ever sub-1m17s Formula E effort in Marrakesh, was followed by the second-ever such lap mere seconds later, as long-time Formula 2 regular Sergio Sette Camara lapped 0.020s slower for Dragon.

But Cassidy then returned to the circuit for one final run, and produced a 1m16.467s in the final moments of the test, which would leave him nearly half a second clear of Sette Camara as the chequered flag flew.

Prototype racing veteran Filipe Albuquerque – who has not competed in single-seaters since finishing third in the 2008-9 A1 GP season for Team Portugal – had led coming into the final hour and ultimately settled for third place.

Stablemate Nicolas Lapierre moved up to fourth at the death in the other DS Techeetah car, having been drafted in at late notice after the team's usual tester James Rossiter was made ineligible for the test through his FP1 appearance in place of Jean-Eric Vergne.

Driving for BMW, Kyle Kirkwood – who has won four titles on the American junior single-seater scene in the past three seasons and will drive for BMW's Formula E partner Andretti in Indy Lights this year – was an impressive fifth, while Venturi's reserve driver Norman Nato vaulted to sixth late on to finish as the top runner among the Mercedes powertrains.

Jake Hughes was seventh, running for the Mercedes works team, while the second BMW of the marque's new DTM recruit Lucas Auer made up the top eight.

Kelvin van der Linde had been quickest in the first of the two three-hour sessions, but his morning benchmark was surpassed by 10 drivers in the afternoon.

ADAC GT Masters champion van der Linde, testing for Audi, was among those drivers himself, finishing ninth as the last of those within a second of Cassidy, as Japanese F3 champion Sacha Fenestraz completed the top 10 for Jaguar.

W Series champion Jamie Chadwick was 13th-fastest in the other Jaguar entry, 1.254s off the pace.

The only driver not to improve in the afternoon was ex-Ferrari Formula 1 junior Antonio Fuoco, who wound up 22nd, a place ahead of the NIO 333 team's other test entrant Daniel Cao.

Test results

Pos. # Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 2 Nick Cassidy Virgin 1:16.467   29
2 7 Sergio Sette Camara Dragon 1:16.930 0.463 42
3 25 Filipe Albuquerque DS Techeetah 1:17.092 0.625 36
4 13 Nicolas Lapierre DS Techeetah 1:17.116 0.649 35
5 28 Kyle Kirkwood BMW 1:17.272 0.805 33
6 19 Norman Nato Venturi 1:17.302 0.835 48
7 17 Jake Hughes Mercedes 1:17.303 0.836 35
8 27 Lucas Auer BMW 1:17.327 0.86 42
9 66 Kelvin van der Linde Audi 1:17.360 0.893 41
10 51 Sacha Fenestraz Jaguar 1:17.490 1.023 33
11 5 Dani Juncadella Mercedes 1:17.594 1.127 45
12 11 Mattia Drudi Audi 1:17.703 1.236 36
13 20 Jamie Chadwick Jaguar 1:17.721 1.254 45
14 22 Mitsunori Takaboshi Nissan 1:17.799 1.332 39
15 36 Thomas Preining Porsche 1:17.904 1.437 38
16 64 Pipo Derani Mahindra 1:17.941 1.474 37
17 23 Jann Mardenborough Nissan 1:17.942 1.475 38
18 6 Joel Eriksson Dragon 1:18.019 1.552 36
19 48 Arthur Leclerc Venturi 1:18.076 1.609 38
20 94 Sam Dejonghe Mahindra 1:18.141 1.674 44
21 4 Alice Powell Virgin 1:18.301 1.834 39
22 33 Antonio Fuoco NIO 1:18.825 2.358 41
23 3 Daniel Cao NIO 1:19.234 2.767 42
24 18 Frederic Makowiecki Porsche 1:19.374 2.907 40
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About this article

Series Formula E
Event Rookie Test Marrakesh
Drivers Nick Cassidy
Teams Virgin Racing
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
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